Episode 8 - Chris Hsiung - On Navigating Social Media and Parenting

Young Han (00:00):
Hey guys, I'm young, a full-time dad and a full-time professional with the goal to become the best parent possible. The goal that show is my journey interviewing fellow working parents, aspiring to be both good at work and parenting. I'm gonna do this by gathering and sharing unfiltered perspectives from my guest to join me as I research parenthood one interview at the time.

Young Han (00:22):
Hey meetings. Nice. I love Chris. Thank you so much for joining me today on my podcast and show.

Chris Hsiung (00:32):

Absolutely. Hey, it's a huge honor

Young Han (00:34):
And thank you for so much for taking the time. I know you're incredibly busy and I know you got a lot going on protecting the citizens of mountain view. And so I know that it's a very critical time for you, so I appreciate you taking the time that being said, it's kind of like case in point with your, uniform on, but I'd love to just tell the listeners what it is that you do for a living.

Chris Hsiung (00:51):
Sure. So my name's Chris, I am the police chief of the city of mountain view in the bay area or otherwise known as the heart of Silicon valley, California. I've been doing this line of work I'm on my 26th year. So it's certainly a calling. I love it. I think that's how I cross paths with you back in the day, was our connection here in mountain view.

Young Han (01:13):
That's right. I, I loved mountain view was like my fondest memories of Silicon valley before I moved to Austin was definitely in mountain view and I enjoyed that city quite a bit. It, yeah, that is where we met. We, we cross paths in a lot of different community outlets and events. I can't even pinpoint which one was the start of it, but there were actually like half a dozen, I think. I think that we ended up keep crossing path too, but you've had an incredibly meteoric rise in, in the ranks of the police department. Right. I mean, you've done a, quite a bit of roles over the last, like even 10 years.

Chris Hsiung (01:42):
I think I've just been very fortunate, right. To have the right mentors, the right people who believed in me and gave me the opportunities and of course stumbling along the way and learning from those. But no, I'm just very grateful for where I am in life. It's

Young Han (01:55):
Incredible. Yeah. And I can't wait to unpack that because I think that there's something to be said about your ability to rise through the ranks and, and achieve you know, this level of success in your professional career. But what I'm really interested in talking to you about is how you balance that with being a dad. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> because I, I, I'm friends with you on Facebook and I get to see all the great posts that you call you, you post about your kids. And I I'd love to unpack that with you, but before we get into those questions, are there any big projects you're working on at work that are kind of taking up the biggest outta your mind share?

Chris Hsiung (02:24):
You know, we're always like nonstop just trying to be a better organization. Right. I think that's anyone in a role at the top, you're always striving to constantly improve. And of course, you know, in, in this day and age where there's a very close microscope on policing and reform, you know, and in some ways we welcome that you, we have to be accountable and the, that I have no problem being accountable, but there's a lot of efforts that we try to do internally, externally really engaging with our community and trying to have the dialogue, which is the biggest missing ingredient. I think that society has right now is instead of shouting back and forth with each other is creating the spaces for dialogue with our local residents.

Young Han (03:03):
And I, I mean, I'll say that I haven't been in mountain view for, you know, over a couple of years now, but I, when I was there, I feel like you played a really big role in implementing a lot of those changes for the police department in mountain view, when we were crossing bats in the community, you did a lot on community outlets where there's like open places to talk, interact with police officers, but also on the digital arena, you, you had a huge part in that. And that was really interesting to see that kind of parlay and that kind of like forward thinkingness about like meeting, meeting people in the digital space, you know, and kind of meeting your constituents where they were so to speak. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> how has that been progressing? Has that been going really well?

Chris Hsiung (03:39):
It's been great. I think what defines mountain view as being just a little bit different is, and, and I think it helps that we're right in the middle of, of all these startups all around us is we do have a little bit of a startup mentality where we're not afraid to try new things. Right. And so giving a case in point an example, you know, we're, we're on clubhouse, right. And just trying to jump into those conversations because we, we looked at that platform and you go, you know what, it's actually built for dialogue. Whereas the, the, you know, the Facebooks, the Twitters of the world, you see a lot of rants going back and forth and people shouting at each other through comments, but not a lot of dialogue takes place. Yeah. So we are constantly just looking at what's the next thing out there with the overall strategy of how do we best meet our community where they're at, right. Not necessarily what, where our comfort zone is, is where they're gonna be, where the conversations are taking place. And so we just want to be present for that.

Young Han (04:28):
That's amazing. That's awesome. Sounds like a really exciting clubhouse talk. I please send me the link and I'll put it in the, I'll put it in the podcast below so people can check it out as well. And I'll definitely check it out as well too, cuz I haven't seen a clubhouse with police officers before. So that sounds already interesting in itself. Do you mind if I switch gears, I don't actually know much about you personally. Do you mind sharing with the listeners who you know about your kids? Like, you know, how many you have, who are they, how old are they and who do you love the most?

Chris Hsiung (04:54):
Absolutely. I've lost track. I joke I, I have four kids, so you know, my, my daughter is 18. I have twin 14 year old boys and then a 12 year old boy. So certainly we have gone through a variety of phases in life, seasons of life and even overlapping seasons. And I think, you know, especially being a cop, a parenting podcast, I think we all know that kids are all different, right? You cannot parent the same or multiple kids the same way because they all come pre packaged with the very different set of instructions. And, and then just when you think you're mastering it, it's like they're on to the next phase. They've grown out of whatever that is. And so, you know, whatever you wanna unpack, I'm happy to use my trials and tribulations to the advantage of your listening audience and, and learn and laugh with us. Yeah.

Young Han (05:41):
Oh man. I had to unpack that. Yeah. Cause I think that there's a lot of depth there, especially because you had, you had twins and you're also a, a cop, it's gotta be really, really fun to have that level of structure and discipline. And I wonder how much of that part lays into your parenting. But before we get into that, do you mind sharing with the listeners about your childhood? Like what was your childhood like and how'd you grow up?

Chris Hsiung (06:01):
So I grew up here in the bay area in a small suburb called Newark. And then I moved across the bay to the peninsula foster city. I'm the oldest of two kids first generation of Chinese immigrants. My sister is 60 years younger. So I kind of, if you prescribe to the birth order type of thing, I was your prototypical firstborn son who kind of felt like I had to be in, you know, in control and in charge of stuff and look after my little sister, but very much kind of suburban grow up in the bay area lifestyle, you know, did the little league thing did new at the age of probably eight or I wanted to be an officer and not until high school. Did that become a reality where in high school they have a program called explorers where you get to basically volunteer at a police department. And I did my time with foster city PD and from the first ride along, I just knew right away, this is what I was meant to do. Right. And so it was a lot of fun and you know, there's pros and cons because you go through high school and college, like already knowing exactly what you wanna do, but the path there is the challenge and how to get there, the quickest.

Young Han (07:05):
Wow. So you knew what you wanted to do at a really early age. Yeah. Did you say eighth grade or eight, eight years old

Chris Hsiung (07:11):
And that was because our house got burglarized and it was the first time. I mean that was watching all the TV, you know, chips and stuff like that. But our house got burglarized. I just remember that officer showing up and I was so short that I could look up and see his duty belt and his uniform, the vivid memory is how safe I felt. Right. Instantly. It's you have to go through this traumatic experience. Your parents are all upset. Things are missing and, and house is broken into and then up pulls a police car officer steps out and it was instantly like, okay, everything's gonna be fine. Right. And that's what like eight year old me grasped onto. It's like, no, this is exactly what I want, you know, to do is serve in that capacity is make people feel safe, make people feel like things are gonna be okay.

Young Han (07:55):
That's an incredible story. That's an amazing origin to story of your career. Oh, wow. That like completely changes the way I even think about you. That's awesome. And then so did you ever just outta curiosity, did you ever find that officer that came to you?

Chris Hsiung (08:10):
No. And, and I wish I could. Right. Cause that had to have been in the I'm gonna date myself like the mid to late seventies. And I, you know, I, I actually tested for that agency like year, decades later. And you know, I thought even in my head it's like, wouldn't this be ironic if I ended up working for this police department. So yeah. That's right.

Young Han (08:29):
Yeah. That's a bummer. Yeah. Hopefully you'll be able to one day through some sort of like, oh, maybe through this podcast,

Chris Hsiung (08:34):
You never know. Yeah. There we go.

Young Han (08:37):
There we go. Maybe that'll be the, the connection piece to make you reconnected with that original officer that inspired you to become one. That's very, very cool. And then the other thing I was gonna say was knowing what you wanted to do from an early onset, did that like also give you the advantages to like kind of gear all of your high school and college towards that? I mean, like that's wild to me cuz in eight years old, I think I wanted to be a police officer too, but I also wanted to be an astronaut the next week. And I also wanted to be, you know, a rock star the week after that. And so it's kind of an interesting thing to be able to like pinpoint that. And I guess it makes it a little more dramatic and more understanding if there was a traumatic event that solidified that ired that in your mind. But I I'd love to kind of go through like your, your process.

Chris Hsiung (09:27):

Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> articulating that strategy and rising up through the process of getting your dream to, and you know, it's, it's, it's ironic because you know, we heard a lot this last past month being, you know, a API awareness month of the term model minority myth, right. And as I'm listening and learning about these experiences, the epiphany that comes to my mind is wait a minute, my parents completely bought into the model minority myth. And I was raised with that kind of like, you're gonna be an engineer, you're gonna be a lawyer or a doctor that's those are your choices. And so I know in high school I kind of did my due diligence and, and trying to explore those career paths. But I just couldn't grasp on, I couldn't conceive of the idea of sitting behind a desk all day, which is really super ironic and funny because if you look behind me, this is what I all do all day. Now I see at a desk, I write emails and it's not exciting at all.

Young Han (10:12):
That's a really interesting point because you actually did explore the other L L elements of career capacities. Mm-Hmm, the typical Asian story of like lawyer doctor engineer, and you just, you just couldn't do it. And so, and it could have been part because you wanted, you knew what you wanted, but it also could have been part because you had the, the audacity to like actually want something different. Yeah. That's the beauty of being first generation, right. It's like we get to like change the change, the mold kind of like redefine that for, for the future generations. Yeah. I mean like my parents are the same. They wanted me to be, you know, an engineer doctor or a lawyer or something like that. And I, and now I want my kids to intentionally be a musician. I, I mean, I, I can't force them, but I, I desperately want them to be artists. Right. I want them to be music, musical artists. So it's so fascinating how our, our upbringing impacts our parenting. That being said, how has it impacted your parenting, your

Chris Hsiung (11:00):
Upbringing? It's interesting. So like my parents got divorced, I think I was 12 or 13. So that has an impact. Right. You know, they, they fought a lot. They were just verbally, always at it. Right. And so I, I, it probably shaped me in the sense that I have more are of what some might characterize as a quick wit and more humor, because that was my outlet is to diffuse and kind of change the situation by being funny or whatever. Right. And I, I see that carrying into my adulthood and how I handle, you know, 10 situations or whatever, but, you know, I, I would grow up in my head going, okay, when I get married and I have kids never gonna yell at my kids. Right. I'm never gonna do this. And that, which is really ironic because, you know, I don't remember like ever needing to yell at my daughter as much, cuz we only had one at the time, but interject twins into this.

Chris Hsiung (11:50):
And like, they're just like, you know, when they get to about the threes or the fours and you're just like, leave it to beaver ideals of what you think parenting's gonna be like out the window. Right? Because you, you go from man on man offense or defense to zone, you're completely zone defense, you're outnumbered. And you know, you, you kind of have the rule of acceptable losses at that point because you know, firstborn, they trip and they fall over, have a little scuff on their knee. It's like, you know, roll out the hazmat cruise and the, the first aid, you know, when you have three and you're playing zone defense and you know, the twins like run into a wall and they have a big OIE and you're like, you kind of sitting on your chair, like, Hey you okay, good. No blood. All right, man. And then number four, poor number four is just like Hey two twins. Can you go check on your brother? Cuz I'm just tired. 

Young Han (12:37):
I love it. As you were rising up the ranks, I mean, did you have the weird schedule? Oh yeah. Cuz police officers have like funky schedules, right? Like what is that like with

Chris Hsiung (12:46):
Parenting? How did your, it was brutal. How did your yeah. How did you deal with that? So what you might not know. So my wife actually worked at the police department at the time she was community service, officer records, person dispatcher. And I think when my daughter was born, she was still working the streets out there with me and stuff like that. No problem. You know, we had grandparents when the twins came along mathematically, it's just like, there's just no way we can afford childcare for three and have this make any sort of sense. So she decided to stay home with them and help raise them. And then I can remember vividly at the time I think the twins were newborn. I was in the person crimes unit. So we were subject to call outs for detective stuff. And I remember the phone ringing at two or three in the morning and the first per you know, the person patrol officer called me and said, Hey, really started to wake you Sarge.

Chris Hsiung (13:33):
I was like, oh no, is I'm up? Like we are, we were up feeding the kids. And I just felt so bad for my wife because we were feeding both of them at the time. And I had to leave literally, like I always made a commitment to her and to the kids is anytime she got up, I got up. Right. And it's like a team approach. Like even though there's really not a whole lot, dad could do, at least I was gonna show my support. Right. Change, diapers, whatever. And then to have to walk away from that. Right. And that, that's why they, they call, you know, police spouses, their special breed. Because I mean she understood, she, she worked here before, so she knows these things or even getting, yeah, I can't imagine. I can't remember how many birthdays anniversaries, special occasions we just miss out on you, even kids' birthdays. Right. Where you're just like, sorry, at the time it was your pager, but your pager would go off and it's like, daddy's gotta go. Right. And that, I think children of law enforcement kind of grow up and understand that even to this day they wouldn't bat an eye. If I just suddenly I get into this mindset where I have to focus hyper focus on whatever that issue, the critical incident is. And they just know, and then I disappear for a day or two, depending on what's going on.

Young Han (14:41):
Oh. Because you have to follow the case as long as it goes.

Chris Hsiung (14:45):

So there could be days where you're just going. Typically it's like a day, day and a half where, you know, even once you get home, you're just so exhausted that you have to like recover and sleep for a little bit. So yeah.

Young Han (14:54):
Oh my gosh, that's wonky. But your kids grow up understanding that. And so what was the turning point? When did they start? Did they ever resent you for it?

Chris Hsiung (15:03):
No, not really. I mean, they, they know like I always tried my hardest once you come through the doors to, to leave work at work. Right. And I was always hypersensitive to not trying to police them at home. Right. You know, at work in a uniform or a given order, it's a lawful order. People have to listen. I get none of that respect, you know dad says, you know, whatever, but no, it's, it's really about just getting at their level. I rest. So with all of my kids, you roll around the floor and just be goofy and, and play. And I'm I grew up a Lego's geek and that was great when my, my sons and daughter were were through that phase. Cause I'm like, oh great. I finally have the money to buy whatever set I want. I can, you know, even to the point where I was like, Hey, they're like, dad, can we do the Lego? I'm like, oh, okay, here you go.

Young Han (15:51):
That's amazing. And so when you think about that concept of turning off and so you have like, almost like a switch you're like in com compartmentalizing your life, cuz you almost have to do you, so how much of like the real world do you actually incorporate into? Cause you see, you see like the worst of humankind. I mean, I'm just saying quite frankly, I mean like I did like a brief little like leadership course mm-hmm <affirmative> and one of the city programs and it's like really just like daunting to think about police officers getting to see the stuff that the normal citizen never gets to see. We just get to see the worst of human things. Right. And so how much of that do you expose your kids to? Because you obviously know a lot more than the average citizen does, you know,

Chris Hsiung (16:28):
When they were young. So I'll tell you about when they're young versus when they are now older. And I come, I have come to find that this is kind of partially a little bit of PTSD too, because, because you have seen every conceivable way that someone can die or get seriously hurt that you can't, you're only human. When, as a parent, you start to be like overly protective, hyper vigilant about like, oh, I don't know if I want them to go ride a bike because I saw a case a couple weeks ago where a kid got hit by a car, you know, it's, it's that. And so it's, it's almost like you're willing, you have to force yourself to mentally just let them fall, let them, you know, ride their bikes. I, I don't wanna Rob them of their childhood. Right. And so there's a lot of that, and I, even as a detective, one of the cases I ever took was a SIDS case, a SIDS death, right. Where a six week old died and the next day I had to go to the, the autopsy. Right. No one should ever have to see that. And at the time I didn't have kids and I was already kind of messed up from that. And so what do you think happens three or four years later when I have a newborn in a crib and think I'm like sitting there always checking every few seconds. Is she breathing? Is she breathing right? Is she breathing that's right. And there's a certain point where that's normal, but then there's a certain point where that's not normal, not healthy. And I know most officers probably go past that. And then current day what's interesting is like in the world of police reform, you know, when you talk about all these things and I, now I hear my kids who are all teenagers talking about this in class, and that's where we start to have more critical thinking discussions about policing. And I start to open up about calls I've been on or cases or incidents and provide real life experience to what they're learning in school. And you can tell that their gears are turning, right. They're starting to go. Okay. So that contrast differently than what we see on social media or what we see on the media, what our friends are seeing at school. And I try to temper it with, you know, not all cops are perfect and they, you know, no one is. And, and here's why it's important to have ethics and values and professionalism and stuff like that.

Young Han (18:30):
Oh, wow. So you're basically, you're staggering your exposure to the kids through stages of their development. Right. First and foremost, but you're also like trying to navigate it with tempering it with your own sense of like mental sanity. Yeah.

Chris Hsiung (18:44):
You kind of have to have like a, like a hyperawareness of self-awareness where you are as a parent, what your job is doing to you as a parent and also the understanding and awareness that your kids are in different stages of what they can hear and learn. Right. And we have a saying here at work, which is, it's not what you say, it's what people hear. So you could be like having this high end talk, but if your kid's not mature enough to really even fathom it, it's just going right over their heads. And now you're frustrated that they're not understanding you. So that's why it's important to just kind of, and it's a moving target. <Laugh> like no one ever gets it. Right. Right. Right. Just when you think you're, you're connected with your kid, they they're maturing and they're changing. Right. And, and they probably don't settle down until they're in their twenties.

Young Han (19:27):
That's wild. And so when you, when you think about success at war work, like how, how do you qual, like what, what, how do you qualify success at work and how do you qualify success at home?

Chris Hsiung (19:36):
I kind of mash the two together and I will tell my kids. I go, you know, for me to look back on my legacy or whatever, the hard truth about what we do is our careers is that you're all replaceable. We are all replaceable I could be gone to and someone will fill the role. Right. And this goes back to what you read about, you know, what do you want on your gravestone? Right. Well, I would much rather say that, you know, he was a great husband and father, right. So push comes to shove. I'm I'm going in that direction. Always hands down. Right. So, and I remember, you know, my, my dad was absent a lot. I didn't want to be that absent father, even when he was home, sometimes he had a newspaper out. Right. So I will be that bad. Who, when my boys are playing video games, I'm in the background trying to make 'em laugh.

Chris Hsiung (20:23):
I'm like threatening to steal, to take, unplug their mouth. And I'm just goofing off with them. Or heck just the other day, like they're, they're wearing their headsets, they're talking their friends. I'm like, like, Hey, you forgot your fuzzy bunny slippers in the bathroom, you know, dad knock that off. And so it's like try to embarrass me, you know, a certain level of goofing off. And did I do that when they were three? No, but Hey, they're, they're 14 now. So I'm taking full advantage of messing with their heads. So yeah.

Young Han (20:49):
I love it. So it's, it's like the idea of like being remembered for what you want to be remembered for. And that's why it's one and the same, cuz it's like, you, you, you want to make sure that you're doing what you you think is the most important, which is being, you know, present with your kids. But isn't that also hard to like justify because you're still on call. It is. Yeah. So if like, quite frankly, when it's the fan, like you have to go.

Chris Hsiung (21:10):
Right, right. Yeah. That's, that's the tough part. It's like, they tell you, you know, if there's a giant earthquake here or something, you kind of have to like set your family up, you guys good for the next three days. And then you, you gotta go, there's a, there's a city of 80,000 people that are relying on you that you show up. Right. And that's, that's really tough. Or even, and, and you know what, it's not fair to the kids. I remember a trip to Europe that we took a couple years ago and, and I think almost every law enforcement family has this. Where if mom or dad who's, the officer says the code word, everyone in the family knows just shut up and follow directions. Right. And that means it's something that, you know, if we see something or have to take action, they all either need to get down. They need to go into a corner or they need to just listen and don't ask why right. But that's almost, every officer has a version of that because it's, it's hyper vigilance. You're always watching, what's going around you and you wanna protect, you're naturally inclined to protect. So of course you're gonna protect your family. Right. That's your most precious thing. And when you're on a vacation and you know, you're, it doesn't turn off.

Young Han (22:11):
Yeah. You're still, your training is still there. You're still looking and you're still realizing. And so if that, have you ever done that? Like no on a trip where you're like, you notice something fishy and you're like,

Chris Hsiung (22:22):
No, right. That, well, the running joke in our family is we tend to take vacations where there's riots and it's, I don't know what it is, but it's fine. Like we were in Portland and I'm looking up and there's a helicopter and you can hear the loud speakers, like, okay, we're gonna go this way. And then a few years later we went, it was Europe and they were having the, I think it was the raincoat protest or something. And my kids are walking and they're like, dad, my face burns. And I looked down on the ground, I see the scorch mark. And I go, I know exactly what that is. That's tear gas. So like, we're gonna go this way. And then in Hong Kong, we were there July weekend when they started to have their protests against the government at the Chinese government. And I'm just like laughing at this point. It's like, where should we go next? Let's where where's the state of Civil's arrest. 

Young Han (23:06):
That's right. You know what they, they call that. That means that you guys are the common denominator, you know, it's just like, take a, take a hint, take a hit, Chris, you know, stay put for a little bit. OK. The, the world's had enough for a little bit. Give it a break. Oh, that's too funny. Yeah. So I, I definitely am like very interested in how you qualify the success. So thank you for sharing that as, as well. But is there any differences in how you think you would've parented? If you weren't a, weren't

Chris Hsiung (23:30):
A cop, you know, knowing the evil that's out there certainly guided in good and bad ways, right? You're parenting and protectiveness, you know, you, any kid wants to have a play date, you kind of check out the parents and everything like that. You're like, are they good people? But I think a lot of non-law enforcement parents do that anyway. But like, because we've seen how bad it can get has given me a little more wisdom and insight. Like what I try to do when I have these talks with my kids is not to teach 'em, you know, that term like teach them how to fish. So I'm trying to teach 'em how to fish in life, right? The life skills. And, and I give a lot of talks to parents on like social media safety and a natural inclination for a lot of parents is like, take the phone away.

Chris Hsiung (24:12):
I'm not gonna let you be on there. Cause it's dangerous. You don't know who you're talking to. My advice to parents in that situation is actually no, you as a parent should download the same platform and learn it. Have your kid teach it to you because is that's one gonna open up a huge world. You will talk and communicate, but what's more important to teach. 'em The life skill of how to navigate that nasty world. We know as social media or just to bar from it. So that once they're on their own in college, they really like are gonna stumble into it. And I, I liken it to real life. Right. If you're gonna go into a dangerous part of town, you know, we, we tell our kids don't go to that part of town. Okay. But at a certain point, they're gonna, we're gonna let 'em free.

Chris Hsiung (24:48):
Right. I would much rather go with them into that part of town. And just, and I told my daughter this, right. Be aware like, as we're walking, walk the lighted path, do you see that guy across the street? Okay. If he's coming your way and you're not comfortable, now is a time to go this way or not have your face in the phone. Right. That, to me, that's the role of a parent is to teach the life skills. Right. And even walk them through the failures walk 'em through. Right. And instead of, you know, in our society, we just tend to like to set rules, don't do this. Don't do that. Well, the kids aren't gonna learn because they haven't tripped. Right. And, and in our family, you get to trip a few times. <Laugh> and that's okay, because we're gonna pick you up. And so next time you probably won't because you've just self learned what it was. Right.

Young Han (25:29):
Yeah. But I mean, even like the way that you're talking about social media and kind of like building cons, like building communication, layers at work. You're, I mean, obviously, like it's not a perfect parallel, but there's a lot of, there's not a lot of analogous to those two threads. Like you wanna build that conversation with the community so you can like educate them on what it is that you're doing and how you're doing. You're not saying it's perfect. You're just opening up those lines of communication. But you're like basically meeting them where they're at. Oh man, that's really philosophical deep. I love it. So you are merging your work and your, your parenting in, in some, some sort of like philosophical, deeper layer, you are merging the two things. That's really, really cool. And I, I definitely learned something new today because I, I will say I'm, I'm like completely a hundred percent guilty of doing exactly what you just said.

Young Han (26:16):
Don't do that. That's gonna be bad. Like you'll know, it's, you'll, you'll eventually know it's bad, but it's like, you're right. Like how would they know it's bad. They're gonna know it's bad when, when I let them lose versus like doing it with me. And and my kids are a little bit younger, so they're not necessarily asking to go to the bad part of town just yet but, but yeah, like things like riding a bike even like, right. Just like letting them get hurt and like kind of being there when they get hurt. So I can like help 'em through it and stuff like that. Yeah. That's really interesting. Yeah. I'm probably overbearing. Now that you make sound like I'm like maybe more of a police parent than you are, I guess in that sense. Yeah. Chris, I know you're incredibly busy, so I just wanna make sure that I ask you the four questions I ask everybody. So we're gonna fire off those. If you don't mind, then I'll, I'll get you back to protecting mountain view. Okay. So what advice do you have for other parents? And soon to be parents,

Chris Hsiung (27:02):
It would probably be, what do I start off with? Right. Every parent is different and every kid is different. So there's a gazillion books out there. There's probably one or two out there that fit that combo. That's the right combo for you, but don't lose faith or get frustrated because things aren't working because of what you read or someone you follow on Instagram or something, you know, advice. It's so unique. I, my four kids are so different. Right. And had, I tried to get them to sleep following, you know, the doctor spot book on sleeping. It probably would've worked for one of 'em and I would've pulled my hair out on, on three. And so we learned very quickly that, you know, it's a, it's a marathon, it's a learning experience for both the parent and the kids alike. But the end of the day, you want to be communicative. You want to have a relationship with your kids as they become adults.

Young Han (27:45):
I'm gonna add an extra question for you just cuz I'm now just more, just curious out of anything, but like if you could give advice to up and coming police officers that are thinking about having kids, what advice would you give them?

Chris Hsiung (27:56):
You know, the family comes first. It's very easy to get wrapped up into the job, the culture the fun of catching bad guys, you know, the litmus test is if all of your social circles start to become law enforcement, that's a warning sign. You need to be in touch with those outside of the circle because that's who you serve. Right? And they are your barometer to when things are going good or bad. And or if you in turn your mental or emotional health or going down the tubes, it's the friends outside of law enforcement that are gonna spot that. Right. And, and I say this in this podcast, especially because it can very much affect your parenting, right? When, when your mental health is bad, your parenting can go down the tubes and, and I've done it. I've been guilty of it. I had incredible stressful day at work. I walk in the door. The first thing I say is I look at my son. I think he was 13 at a time. Don't start. I don't need to hear you and your brother arguing. And then I'm like off into another room. And then you're like, holy cow, did I just say that like totally unfair to my son. Right. And I apologize later, but it's like, that's the work encroaching on the home. And you kind of have to make a commitment going in early <affirmative>, you know, you make a vow family and your spouse comes first.

Young Han (29:10):
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before having kids, what would it be?

Chris Hsiung (29:15):
Oh, sleep man bank up that sleep. Oh, I got a real quick story if you have time for it. Okay

Young Han (29:22):
Please. Yeah, we have the

Chris Hsiung (29:23):
Time. Yeah. When we found out we were having twins, we joined a twin, a, a twin parents of twins support group. And I remember watching this dad walk in and he looked like he got run over by a train. I mean, it just gross, you know, probably hadn't brushed his hair or teeth. I'm just, and we hadn't had our twins yet. I'm looking at him like, wow, that dude needs to take care of himself. Right. And then our twins get born and they did not sleep through the night for 18 months. And they each woke up at least twice. So that means no REM sleep for 18 months for me. Right. And I just remember, like, I think I took like six or seven weeks off of work about I didn't shave and you stop taking care of yourself and you're definitely not sleeping. And I look in the mirror, I'm like, holy crap. I just became that guy. Right.

Young Han (30:10):
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, at that point that's like kind isn't that torture like, isn't that what you do when you torture?

Chris Hsiung (30:18):
Probably I, I perfected the bill now. Remember when we had twins, my daughter was three. I could, the brain does really funny things and humans are fantastic at adapting. I could read her a book, but also be taking a nap at the same time. I kid you not like I could like mentally shut down and she'd be in my lap and I would be reading and flipping the page. But really part of me was also like, just so tired that I would was on like cruise control or like a sleep mode. Wow.

Young Han (30:45):
I don't know if I got that, that, but I never had twins. Right. And so everyone that has twins says, it's like, it's literally like triple oh yeah. Having the one. And yeah. It's like it's gangbusters. Right? It's just like unbelievable. That's a wild story. Thanks for sharing that. What's your favorite all time business book or leadership book.

Chris Hsiung (31:02):
I really like the Simon Sinek series starts with why leaders eat last and the infinite game there's there. So when he first wrote, starts with why the, our police chief at the time really embodied that that was our style. Anyway. So that became our department culture. And that's, as I promoted through the ranks, that's my DNA was kind of baked with that so much, you know, leaders eat less. And then now the infinite game, if you look at a lot of the police reform issues and the debates going on that is a finite versus infinite game kind of discussion and too many law enforcement agencies or leaders I see are, are looking at it wrong and looking at it as a finite thing, we gotta win this line. No, no, no. There's no winning this. We, we need to every day just be better and have those dialogues. Right. So yeah, definitely that series.

Young Han (31:51):
Oh man, I love that. What is the most surprising thing that you learned about yourself? Becoming a parent,

Chris Hsiung (31:58):
You can go without sleep for a long time, there's a theme here. They bring out the best and sometimes the worst of us. Right. And you know, and, and it's those moments where you, you just have to, sometimes I'll leave you this, like the power of an apology from a parent to a child is lost on society. Right? Like I grew up frustrated cuz my dad never said, sorry. Even when I caught him, you know I, what right. If you think about that, I think that's where a lot of the rebellion kind of comes up from the kids is that sometimes they spot hypocrisy. Right. So I always knew deep down. I'm like, you know, I'm gonna save those apologies their key times for learning experience, both for the parent and the child. It's so powerful when you go up to any child of any age and just say, you know what? I made a mistake because that teaches them a quality of value as an, as they grow up. I mean, who hates someone else more that someone that can't APO admit when they're wrong. Right. Well, are we surprised then if we never apologize to our kids, when they grow up to be kind of jerks right. So that's the takeaway is, you know, we, if we want nice humans interacting with us, we have to model that same behaviors. No, one's perfect. We're all fallible. So, you know, the power of that is even, you know, takes ego away and teaches great values and stuff like that.

Young Han (33:17):
I mean, this is a, definitely a, a parenting focused podcast, but I, I will say this comment just because I think it's, it's like, I'm, I feel compelled to that. I'm like really grateful that you're the chief of police for mountain view because that sentiment is, I think it's exactly what we kind of need, even in the parallel of the police reform conversation. Right. It's like this conversation that like, it's okay, that you're a position of authority. You can still be wrong. Mm-Hmm and you can still apologize. It's not that you're wrong. It's not, it's not that you're right. Like you said, it is infinite. It's like this conversation that we just need to have and we need to be okay and open with it. Mm-Hmm, it's not this like scarcity mindset. It's like, can we just have a conversation? And so for whatever it's worth, I just wanted to say I'm really glad that you're the chief of police there.

Young Han (33:59):
So well, and now I move to Austin, so it doesn't really matter as much. So don't take it too. Don't take it like, yeah, it doesn't mean that much even means even less now, I guess is what I'm trying to say. But thank you so much for being on my show. This was incredibly fun. And I feel like I could talk to you for like 20 more hours, but maybe I'll have you on again, because this is really, really fun for me. Thank you so much for your time. I know you're in you busy. So I really appreciate you spending time with me to talk to us about yeah. Your job and how you be, how, how you navigate that by, by being a parent as

Chris Hsiung (34:27):
Well. Absolutely. thanks for the honor of being on your show.

Young Han (34:30):

Young Han (34:31):
For tuning in to another episode of the girl that show, we hope you enjoyed that interview. If you wanna subscribe to our email list and learn more, you can head over to the girl, dad, show.com. Thank you and see you next time.

Leave a comment